What does home smell like?
I had something different in mind for this week’s post, but I put that idea on the back burner as I unravel my feelings about it. If any of you are wondering, yes it is related to my Twitter rampage from a few days ago.
This weekend my thoughts wandered somewhere else as I prepare for a trip to Pakistan for the first time in five years.
Bear with me for a short (but sweet) story about a feeling I haven’t quite found the words for yet.
For as long as I can remember, the first real moment I look forward to when I go to Lahore is its smell. I anticipate that first whiff of air when I step off the plane and the way it envelopes me with comfort. It’s the smell of home, the only home that hasn’t changed in my mind like everything else in my life has.
The funny thing is that I never remember the actual smell. I can’t describe it for you. Is it earthy? Smoky? Sweet?
It has been five years this time - the longest I have ever been away. But even in my younger days, when the trip was as frequent as winter and summer vacation and the occasional Eid break, I could never recollect the smell until I went back. What I do always remember is how I feel every time the smell of home hits me: It’s like the oldest, most familiar sensation my body has ever known.
I know I’m not alone in my nostalgic feeling about the smell of home. The link between smells and memories is very well documented.
I do wonder though: Can we ever remember the true depth of the smells that trigger our emotions in such a visceral way?
I think I’ll take notes this time and report back.
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I remember getting off the plane in Lahore and the feeling I had walking into an unknown world and culture and loving it right there and then. I felt like a child in awe, wanting to discover everything. The smells, the sounds, the different landscape and people. It was February, winter in Canada and I was in a warm climate, like a holiday in the sun. My memories there are all wonderful memories. The the customs, the kindness and generosity and the shops! Oh the shopping was incredible. The border tradition was so interesting! But of course, the wedding. The wedding was the best part, my favourite thing was meeting all your family. Oh and the polo match, that was great! Nothing like Canada at all. Ok back to scents...that's how I feel with our 4 seasons, each one has it's own scent and I love every one of them. I know how it makes you feel, that familiarity, the remembrance, the nice change that comes with it. I'm excited for all you to go back to Lahore, I can't wait to hear the girls' stories when they come back. Hopefully they'll have a lot of new words to teach me.
So ethereal no words can describe the smell you can feeli it n there r blessed few like you Anam who are sensitive n vigilane n know the essence n root of the smell ot is the smell of coming home